FRESNO, California (KSEE) – One of the largest school districts in the state announced Tuesday that it plans to return to in-person learning on April 6.
But Fresno Unified plans to bring students back at the beginning of April – if Fresno County reaches the state’s Red Tier. The county is in the purple tier, but case numbers are moving in the right direction.
“We are excited to announce that we have reached an agreement to return to in-person learning in the red tier in the month of April and a projected start date of Tuesday, April 6th which is the Tuesday following our spring break,” said Fresno Unified Superintendent Bob Nelson.
Nelson says educators are coming back sooner than expected, however as teachers are getting vaccinated and with their safety measures in place, it shouldn’t be a problem.
“We are going back a little sooner than we anticipated going back which is great it’s really good and we know that’s important to teachers and families and we hear that message but we don’t know what the potential health issues are, so we are putting an $8 million contribution into the health fund,” said Nelson.
The district plans on vaccinating every educator against COVID-19 by the end of the month (if they wish to get the vaccination). The Fresno Teachers Association’s Manuel Bonilla says this was a collaboration between both the district and the teachers union.
“The COVID-19 vaccine provided new opportunities and quite frankly the availability for educators is definitely a game-changer,” said Bonilla.
Bonilla said only elementary school students will head back on April 6 and the district is working on plans to phase in secondary students like middle and high schoolers.
“Teachers want to return to the classroom however they want to make sure they do it safely not only for their sake but for the sake of their students and for the sake of the community,” said Bonilla.